As Heather auditions, she’s dancing contemporary and looks pretty good with a big jump. Nigel confirms she’s had two operations on her hips and that the doctors said she would never dance again, and replies, “What do they know?”Mary calls it unbelievable and says she’s like a miracle. Dan says there was a fire from the moment she started that woke him up. He says her technique was great, but she had a personality to go with it as well. She going to Las Vegas and says she set out to prove the doctors wrong and has been trying her hardest.
For viewers that aren’t very familiar with dancing or the show, Nigel goes over a few terms that they’re likely to hear on the show, such as pirouettes, Russian jete, arabesque, contemporary, classical, African, and even what Nigel coins “crotch bump.” Dancing Derek contributed more for his own unique moves, such as turbulence, airport shuffle, toothbrush, roll the window down, replace the light bulb, flip the burger, and scan the items.
Janet Dejosia, 21, of Blue Point, New York says she does everything, breakdancing, hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, African, etc. Just like Heather, she, too, got a tattoo to prove how much dance means to her. It says “dance,” yet she admits she’s not sure if it really does, as it’s in Chinese. Onstage she has many balance problems, and just isn’t good. Dan asks if anyone has ever taught her the proper way to break, and she replies she’s been breaking for five years. Mary suggests maybe she’s just saving that for another day. She doesn’t think Janet has the physical stamina to participate in the competition, as she can barely get through that one number. Janet argues she does, as she’s a dance teacher for little kids. Nigel starts to get upset and struggles, as he promised himself he wouldn’t be mean this year. He tries to say nicely that she doesn’t have good technique so teaching children is a dangerous area for her. She tells him it was a nice try at not being mean, swears, and leaves. She wishes he’d go back to where he came from.
Chasmar Well, 18, from Rochester, New York is a visual arts and dance major at the School of the Arts High School. I don’t know what dance move he’s doing, but as a martial artist, it looks to me like a crane stance, then launches into his dance. Nigel again mentions his promise to himself, and says this really wasn’t good. Mary advises Chasmar to listen to music as it started with heavy drums and he was just standing there. Nigel tries to help, saying it’s the choreography, not him, but finding out Chasmar choreographed it, he changes his mind.
With Melissa Browne, 21, of Schenectady, New York, Nigel decides to give up on his promise to not be mean. He tells her she’d be great dancing for the part of Ugly Betty, and both Dan and Mary tell him that’s messed up. When another dancer tells them she is crime psychologist, he tells her she just created a crime scene behind herself. And it’s back to Janet as she’s walking around talking on her cell phone saying they thought she was terrible, so she’s quitting dancing. Maybe she should open up a restaurant with Tiffany.
Hannah-Lee Sakakibara, 22, of New York City has a great story. She was raised in Israel and was always a hyperactive child, which is what landed her in dance classes. She used to work as a dancer, and four years ago she stepped off the dance area in a club in Israel, and everyone else disappeared. The building collapsed, with 24 dying and 350 injured. She was among the injured, breaking her jaw and nose. They had to do immediate surgery and implanted metal plates, not being sure if she would have brain damage. She told herself if she got out, she would pursue dancing for the rest of her life. She’s just happy to be here with her face and all her fingers and her legs. Nigel thinks she has interesting energy, but Dan votes a quick no. Mary’s on the fence, wanting to see how she will do later in choreography, as is Nigel.
Jamar Weaver, 19, and Earnest “E-Knock” Phillips, 20, are both dance instructors for little kids at a studio and also are in a group together, SQ, which means Status Quo. Jamar started dancing at 6 or 7, and E-Knock doesn’t have the best background, so wants others to see they can do it too. He does some very unique flips and even does one where confetti comes out. Nigel tells him he got the first excited Mary scream of the day and calls him dangerous. Mary says it’s starting to shine in New York City, and Dan says he did things no one else has done, and he doubts anyone else will. Since Nigel knows that often people like E-Knock fall by the wayside when it comes to choreography, he wants him to stick around and try out the choreography round later.
When it comes to Jamar, he leaps out, but the dancing isn’t quite as good as E-Knock. Dan says he doesn’t think there is any way in the world to put structure around what Jamar does, as it’s wild, big, and crazy. Mary asks if it’s his own stuff or if it’s choreography, and he says it’s stuff from their studio where they also do swing, jazz, and other stuff. Nigel asks him to work up a quick swing routine, and when Jamar seems surprised, he says you do swing, don’t you? And his reply is, “Sorta.” He’s instructed to get a partner to learn a swing dance with and then come back in a little bit.
While we’re on the swing set, Joel Bernabel, 23, of New York City says dancing feels like nothing else exists to him. His dance partner for the day is Carmen E. Lugo, 21, of Willingboro, New Jersey, his ex-girlfreind. He compares the connection to fishes needing to swim and birds needing to fly. She says they’re still very much friends, just not on the that level anymore. He wants to support her and says she’s just trying to be strong right now. Dancing with her is the best thing he has right now.